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Thanks God! Rahul Gandhi's plane was just 20 seconds away from crashing: DGCA report

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 31, Aug 2018, 18:13 pm IST | UPDATED: 31, Aug 2018, 18:22 pm IST

Thanks God! Rahul Gandhi's plane was just 20 seconds away from crashing: DGCA report New Delhi: The findings of the probe into the apparent technical snag that Rahul Gandhi’s chartered plane from New Delhi to Hubli had developed on April 26 reveal that the Congress president’s plane was merely 20 seconds away from crashing. After the Congress party had claimed a conspiracy into the whole incident, the aviation watchdog, DGCA, had constituted a two-member committee to probe the technical snag.

Times Now has accessed the probe committee’s report regarding the mid-air scare faced by Gandhi in April. The report is yet to be made public by the NDA government. Interestingly, on June 12, in a reply to an RTI filed by Times Now’s Heena Gambhir, the government had vowed that the report would be released into the public domain soon. However, even after 49 days since the government’s reply, the report continues to be a “secret”.

As per the report by the aviation watchdog, which has been accessed by Times Now, the “unaware crew” had reacted a little late in bringing the plane under control after it developed a snag. The report added that had the crew on the aircraft not corrected the snag within 20 more seconds, the plane “could have crashed.”

Below are the five major findings mentioned in the probe report:
  •     Aircraft banked excessively on one side which may have resulted in a crash
  •     Aircraft was on auto-pilot mode when it developed a technical snag
  •     Aircraft had to be controlled manually & immediately by pilots
  •     The crew took a little time to bring the aircraft back to balance
  •     If snag wasn't corrected by crew within 20 seconds next, the plane could have  likely crashed
Meanwhile, the Congress party has slammed the NDA over the delay in the release of the probe report by the DGCA into the incident. The Congress said that the delay was “a cause of concern” and that the government should release the report in public immediately.

The incident had taken place when Gandhi was on his way to Hubli in Karnataka from New Delhi, to attend a rally as part of the election campaign for Karnataka Assembly polls, which were held on May 8. A complaint was filed by Gandhi’s aide, Kaushal Vidyarthee, with the Karnataka Police regarding the technical snag developed in the aircraft, midway through the flight journey.

The complaint had read, “At around 10:45 am, the aircraft suddenly tilted heavily on the left side and the altitude dipped steeply, combined with violent shuddering of the aircraft body… The weather outside was sunny, normal and not windy… A clanking noise was clearly audible from one side of the plane throughout the shuddering of the aircraft body. It was also learnt that the autopilot of the aircraft was not functioning,”

Gandhi had later commented on the incident that he thought it was “all over” when his flight dipped 8,000 feet. Playing out on Hindu symbolism, as a report calls it, Rahul Gandhi said in a rally at Delhi's Ram Lila Maidan soon after the midair trouble that he had vowed to take up the fortnight-long Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage (that Hindus consider an achievement). Rahul Gandhi's plan to go on this trek is in line with that declaration.